Let me share a recent symbolic coincidence that connects me to my mother’s last Christmas before she died in January 2015. I was driving her through Richmond to visit my brother’s family in Kurrajong and she was blown away by a row of pink flowering crape myrtle trees and how they reminded her of her street in Kogarah as a young child. Since she died (with little warning just a few weeks after) those types of trees have been my ‘mum trees’ whenever I’ve seen them. Up until then I’m sure I would have heard ‘crape myrtle’ as something you eat .. not a clue! Well, moving into the Emu Plains presbytery a few days ago, I looked in the back yard and what did I see? Two pink flowering crape myrtles! Well actually, one. The other isn’t flowering for some reason. In any case, one of my jobs ahead is to clear the overgrown stuff around the trunks of those trees and make a bit of an outdoor reflection space.

I’ll look forward to some ‘mum inspiration’ in that space!

I mentioned this crape myrtle story also in the parish bulletin, as I thought I’d try to share one small personal thing each week as a way of letting people get to know a bit about me .. as I also try to know stories of others in this new parish belonging. Well, after writing it, one very friendly guy approached me after Mass and said ‘I’ve got a cool bench you could put under that tree if you’re wanting to create a reflection space’ … another warm moment of welcome for which I give thanks.

With friendship in God’s mission,


Originally featured in in December 2018